Game of Trains is a small card game from Alexey Konnov, Alexey Paltsev and Anatoliy Shklyarov, published by Brain Games. This is one of the games that I looked forward to from Essen ’15. I had a chance to play it. Here’s what I thought about it.
The idea of this game is that you have a train of cards with numbers arranged in descending order and you have to be the first to get them in ascending order. Not just by picking them up and putting them in the right order, but with card actions. Every cards not only has a number, but it also has a special ability. In the middle of the table you’ll find the draw pile and three open cards. On your turn you can do one of two things. You can draw a card from the draw pile to replace a card that’s in your train, the replaced card goes next to the other open cards, or you can use the ability of one of the open cards on the table.
In this way you can swap two cards, move a card or let everyone remove a card. Be the first to get them in the right order and you win the game.
This game fell flat for us. The idea, getting cards in the right order by using the abilities of cards in the middle of the table, is OK. I like that you have to think about the fact that, if you replace a card with another, the old card has an ability that’s going to be available to everyone. Sometimes I had to make a ‘stupid’ or ‘not ideal’ move, just because the card I needed to, optimally, remove from my train had an ability that would greatly benefit my opponents or even make them win the game.
It has a ‘take that’ element, in the removing of cards, which happens to everyone. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it was not very bad. The bad thing was just that I did not have fun playing it, it was just a thing that happened to me. So the idea is fine, the art is nice, I was interested in the game as a quick filler, but I played it now and I’m not interested any more.